Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance Student Handbook 2015-2016

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Manhattan School of Music

Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance

2015 – 2016
Student Handbook

Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance

Student Handbook 2015-2016


Welcome 1

Program History 2

Program Faculty 3-4

Program Students 2015-2016 5

Manhattan School of Music Policies 6

Communications 6

Scholarships and Financial Aid 7

Orchestral Performance Programs of Study 7

Program Requirements 8

OP Program Core 8

Mock Auditions 9

Orchestral Repertoire Coaching Class 10

Visiting Orchestra Master Classes 11-12

Final Jury 13

Arts-in-Education Outreach Courses 13

Performing Opportunities 14

New York Philharmonic Rehearsals 14

Career Consulting Opportunities 15


It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance at Manhattan School of Music! This Program is designed for you, the young professional musician, and offers the advanced training necessary to win and sustain a successful and fulfilling orchestral career.

Whether you are a student new to MSM, a student new to the Program, or a returning Program student, the 2015-2016 academic year promises to be a year of exceptional opportunities for your artistic growth. You will have inspiring interactions with your principal teacher, performance coaches, and guest conductors.

This handbook has been assembled in order to summarize the policies, procedures, and opportunities that apply to you as a student in the OP Program. Please read it carefully, and keep it for reference throughout the year.

My office is always available to you should you have any questions, problems, or concerns; I will do my best to assist in finding a solution. Please inform me when things are going well, too!

I wish you a wonderful year!

Abby McGill

Director, Orchestral Performance and Chamber Music

Program History

In 1991, Manhattan School of Music inaugurated the Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance, the first accredited degree program of its kind in the United States. The program seeks to produce polished musicians of the highest artistic caliber, who are prepared intensively in the orchestral repertoire for careers as symphonic players. Students are trained to participate fully in both performance and other nonmusical aspects of life in the modern orchestra, such as orchestra governance, artistic planning, community engagement, and audience development.

The Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance (1) recognizes that the art of orchestral playing is a skill in itself; (2) maintains that a career as a member of a symphony orchestra or other large ensemble is as desirable and, potentially, as artistically rewarding as a career as a solo performer; and (3) offers specific training vehicles and curricula to fulfill these objectives..

c:\users\hstubner\desktop\op photo september 2013.jpg

Program Staff

Glenn Dicterow, Department Chair

Abby McGill, Director, Orchestral Performance and Chamber Music

Program Faculty

Glenn Dicterow, former concertmaster, New York Philharmonic

Lisa Kim, assistant principal second violin, New York Philharmonic

Irene Breslaw, assistant principal viola, New York Philharmonic

Karen Dreyfus, associate artist, New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Alan Stepansky, former associate principal cello, New York Philharmonic

Timothy Cobb, principal bass, New York Philharmonic

Orin O’Brien, bass, New York Philharmonic

Robert Langevin, principal flute, New York Philharmonic

Robert Botti, oboe, New York Philharmonic

Steve Taylor, principal oboe, Orchestra of St. Luke’s; co-principal oboe,

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Liang Wang, principal oboe, New York Philharmonic


Anthony McGill, principal clarinet, New York Philharmonic

Mark Nuccio, associate principal clarinet, New York Philharmonic

Kim Laskowski, associate principal bassoon, New York Philharmonic

Judith Leclair, principal bassoon, New York Philharmonic

Frank Morelli, principal bassoon, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; American

Composers’ Orchestra; New York City Opera Orchestra

Roger Nye, bassoon, New York Philharmonic


Michelle Read Baker, horn, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Javier Gándara, horn, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Allen Spanjer, horn, New York Philharmonic

Ethan Bensdorf, second trumpet, New York Philharmonic

Mark Gould, former principal trumpet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Vincent Penzarella, former second trumpet, New York Philharmonic

Tom E. Smith, fourth/utility trumpet, New York Philharmonic

Per Brevig, former principal trombone, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

David Finlayson, second trombone, New York Philharmonic

Stephen Norrell, bass trombone, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Alan Baer, tuba, New York Philharmonic
Mariko Ankaru, associate principal harp, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Susan Jolles, harpist, NY Chamber Symphony; American Composers Orchestra

Christopher Lamb, principal percussionist, New York Philharmonic

Duncan Patton, principal timpanist, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

classroom instruction
Orchestral Music Baroque to Classical

Dr. J. Mark Stambaugh, instructor

The Musician as Educator

Rebecca Charnow, instructor and Director of Community Partnerships.

Program Students 2015-2016


Julia Ahyoung Choi

Matous Michal

Simon Michal

Zou Yu

David Derrico

Daphne Gooch

Chensi Tang


Jillian Bloom

Blake Johnson

Weiting Sun

Double Bass

Abraham Masso


Kayla Burggraf

Lauren Osaka

Xue Su

Si Yoon Park

Yeseul Park

Young Sun Yoo

Jong-Hyun (Andy) Cho

Alexander Clark

Jingjing Wang


Alexander Davis


Corinne Cook

Pin-Chun Liu

Minwoo Kang

Atse Theodros

Alejandro Manuel Lopez Samame

Tenor TrOMbone

Myles Blakemore (Spring 2016 only)

Bass TrOMbone

Preston Judd


Michael Jarrett

Matthew Mitchener

Steven White

Manhattan School of Music Policies

While Orchestral Performance majors are given many special opportunities and frequently receive career and academic counseling, it is expected that all Orchestral Performance majors will abide by the policies, rules, and schedules as set forth by the School, including, but not limited to:

  • Office of admission and financial aid application deadlines

  • Orchestra attendance rules and release requests (please review the Orchestra Handbook, available on the student website for detailed information and policies)

  • Concert attendance

  • Professional leave of absence

  • Withdrawal from Manhattan School of Music

For a complete list of policies, procedures, and deadlines in this regard, please consult the 2015-2016 Manhattan School of Music catalog, student handbook, and Performance Operations department handbook.

Additionally, you are considered to be leaders within the orchestra. It is expected that all Orchestral Performance majors will be role models for other students, setting a good example with high standards for professionalism, attendance, preparation, and positive attitude within the orchestra and in class.


It is necessary that you remain in close communication with the Orchestral Performance office. In emergency situations, I will attempt to notify you by telephone. Otherwise, announcements are emailed and posted on the student website ( Please be diligent in checking and delivering your communications to and from the OP office via the following means:

  • Important Department telephone numbers, office number and email addresses:

Abby McGill – Room 305 917-493-4547

MSM Security Desk 917-493-4444

MSM Fax number (Mailroom) 212-749-5471

  • Make sure my office always has your correct local telephone number and address on file, as well as any alternate telephone.

  • If you have a question about a conflict or notice a scheduling conflict, please bring it to my attention. Please check the student website daily for Orchestral Performance updates:

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarship awards are based upon two conditions: merit and financial need. Please note that you must comply with application procedures and deadlines. You must complete an application for financial aid if you wish to be considered for a scholarship or if you wish to have your scholarship renewed.

All returning students must file their financial aid forms during the spring semester preceding their second year of study. During the 2014-2015 year, the deadline is April 15. If your financial aid file is incomplete in any way, it will jeopardize your ability to receive scholarship and federal financial aid.

Most scholarships are available because of the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. If you are a scholarship recipient, we ask you to respond to the requests from the External Affairs Office concerning your donor correspondence.

Orchestral Performance Programs of Study

Students enrolled in the Orchestral Performance Program have the option of one of two tracks of study. They are as listed below:

  • Master of Music in Orchestral Performance

  • Professional Studies Certificate

The master of music degree consists of a total of 53 credits in the core curriculum as defined in the Manhattan School of Music catalog plus 8 credits of electives (including 2 semesters of concert attendance). There is a two-year residency requirement. Students who have not placed out of the prerequisites for the program will be required to take those courses in addition to other course requirements for the master’s degree. Any 2000-level graduate course prerequisite, however, qualifies as an elective.

The professional studies certificate is specifically designed for the doctoral-level student who wishes to further his/her studies in a more concentrated fashion. There is a minimum of 24 credits required for completion of the certificate. Generally the course work includes Musician as an Educator in addition to all Orchestral Performance Program music performance courses and one semester of concert attendance. This is a one-year program of study.

Program Requirements

OP students have the following performance-related program requirements:

OP Program Core, Mock Auditions, Orchestral Repertoire Coaching Classes, Master Classes, and year-end Juries: OP majors are required to participate in each of these activities as described in detail in this handbook (see pages 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13 respectively.)

Concert Attendance: Please note that there is REQUIRED concert attendance for all students in all programs of study. This is a requirement for graduation and must be completed in successive semesters. If one is registered for this credit in a given semester and the requirement is not fulfilled during that semester, the student receives an F on his/her transcript.

OP Program Core

1 credit per semester
Attendance is required for repertoire classes, master classes and mock auditions and special performances.
Requirements of program:

a) Attend all rep readings

2 per semester for winds, brass, percussion
b) Attend all mock auditions

2 per semester for PS and 2nd year Masters

1 in Fall semester and 2 in Spring semester for 1st year Masters se
c) Attend and participate in all master classes for each instrument

2 per year

d) Attend all rep classes

6 per semester for strings, winds and low brass

8 per semester for horns and trumpets

6 violin studio classes

e) Special Performances:

Participate in 1 offsite performance per year and 1 in-house, as assigned

Performance with school children, as assigned.

Must attend 1 general OP meeting per semester

Each obligation is worth 20% of the grade.
If an absence is necessary, student must notify the OP office 2 weeks in advance of event.

  • Absences are only allowed for illness, auditions and approved outside paying gigs.

Mock Auditions

Since mock auditions are a powerful tool in preparing to win an orchestral audition, Orchestral Performance majors will perform in a series of regularly scheduled mock auditions during their two-year program. First-year students will perform three mock auditions—one in the first semester and two in the second semester. Second-year students and Professional Studies students will have four per year (two per semester).

Mock auditions are lifelike, realistic orchestra auditions, paralleling preliminary, semifinal, and final orchestra audition standards and practices. Students perform in front of other program students as well as some of the most critical judges in the music industry, including program faculty and other coaches from major New York City orchestras and performing ensembles.

SCHEDULE The mock auditions schedule will be emailed, as well as available on the student website. As possible within your class schedule, you are strongly urged to attend the mock auditions of the other students in the program. Faculty and visiting orchestra professionals can offer invaluable comments on musical preparation and audition practice for other instruments that apply equally to you. It is to your advantage to attend and fill out comment sheets for your colleagues and to support their participation.

FORMAT Please arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled audition time. You will be asked by guest adjudicators and faculty members to perform your solo work and excerpts for approximately twenty minutes. Immediately following your performance, the faculty members and other guest adjudicators will provide comments on your performance, for approximately 10 minutes.

Repertoire Please use the year-end jury repertoire list as your guide and consult your teacher to determine which solo work and excerpts are best for you to perform at each mock audition. With the approval of your major teacher, you may substitute repertoire in preparation for an actual orchestra or summer music festival audition you may be taking.

Mock Audition Musical Materials You will need to provide all adjudication panel members with complete, collated, and annotated sets of your repertoire list—concertos or solos, and excerpts. All of these assist the coaches in making comments on your performance. Make sure that these materials are typed, legible and well prepared. It will affect your overall presentation and results.

Required Format for Materials

Two collated and stapled sets, each containing:

  • Your repertoire list, with your name, your teacher’s name, and instrument at the top, noting movements and bar numbers where appropriate.

  • A copy of each of your concerto and solo choices, annotated and bracketed with felt-tip marker to indicate start and finish.

  • A copy of each of your orchestral excerpts, in the order listed on your repertoire list, noting composers and titles of works at the top of each page, annotated and bracketed with felt-tip marker to indicate start and finish of each excerpt.

Orchestral Repertoire Coaching Class

Taught by Manhattan School of Music program faculty and guests, the Orchestral Repertoire Coaching Course has been designed as a four-semester, two-year sequence of coaching sessions on the craft of orchestral, ensemble, and performance techniques. The course offers students intensive study and performance experience in the diverse styles and periods of the orchestral repertoire. The course will prepare students to win and sustain orchestral positions.

  • Individual instrumental sessions of two hours in length will be taught by a single faculty member or invited guest six times per semester (eight times for trumpets and horns).

  • Two readings comprised of winds/brass/percussion, each conducted by a reputable national or international conductor. Conflicts: When you are assigned to play and a conflict arises which will prevent you from fulfilling your obligation, you must: (1) let me know immediately, (2) secure your own substitute yourself, (3) give the substitute your music in advance, and (4) let us know who your substitute will be.

  • Repertoire: The course will offer in-depth coverage of standard core orchestral repertoire for each instrument.

(Below - OP Wind faculty alongside their students – Zankel Hall, January 26, 2009)

zankel musicians - wind section

Visiting Orchestra Master Classes

One of the advantages of studying in New York City is that it is a cultural center and a major tour stop for international and American orchestras. In addition to the program faculty, Orchestral Performance students have the opportunity to perform for extraordinary orchestral musicians from other parts of the world. Each year, OP students will perform in two master classes given by members of national and international orchestras.

The choice of which visiting orchestra professionals will give master classes is made by OP faculty members, based on the schedule of orchestras visiting New York City during the 2015-2016 season (see page 12).

Scheduling: These are orchestral excerpt master classes in which program students perform a solo and/or concerto movement in addition to 4–5 orchestral excerpts. When time permits, non-program students are invited to participate, based on orchestral placement order, and are scheduled to perform after OP majors. If there are class scheduling conflicts please inform me immediately so that I may plan your performance time accordingly.

Procedures: As soon as master classes are scheduled, students will be emailed and the information will be posted on the student website (

Master Class Materials: Student master class performances often capture the attention of noted national and international performers and conductors. In the past, they have opened doors for program students into orchestral and ensemble jobs. You should present yourself in a professional manner, as if it were an audition. Please consult with your teacher to determine repertoire and come prepared with one photocopy of your music scores for the guest artist.

In addition, you may wish to record your own performance on audio or video. If you choose to do so, you must supply your own equipment. Furthermore, it is common courtesy to ask permission of the visiting artist in advance. If you wish to use an accompanist, you may do so at your own expense.

Visiting Orchestras 2015-2016 Season
Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall

Orchestra Date Venue
Philadelphia Orchestra Oct, 13, Jan, 14, 26, May 11 Carnegie

Boston Symphony Orchestra October 20, 21, 22 Carnegie

London Symphony Orchestra October 23, 25 Avery Fisher

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra November 5 Carnegie

Berliner Philharmoniker November 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 Carnegie

Cleveland Orchestra January 17, February 14 Carnegie

Orchestra National de France January 28 Carnegie

Budapest Festival Orchestra February 18 Carnegie

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra February 26, 27, 28 Carnegie

Russian National Orchestra March 2 Carnegie

Minnesota Orchestra March 3 Carnegie

Los Angeles Philharmonic March 13, 14 Avery Fisher

Orchestra Symphonique de Montreal March 15 Carnegie

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields March 21 Avery Fisher

San Francisco Symphony April 13, 14 Carnegie

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra April 16 Carnegie

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra April 19, 20 Carnegie

Utah Symphony Orchestra April 29 Carnegie

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra April 30 Carnegie

(below - Glenn Dicterow and OP faculty rehearsing in Zankel Hall. January 26, 2009)

zankel dicterow 1

Final Jury

OP majors will have a year-end final jury in the form of a professional orchestral audition, performing requested concerti, Bach solos (as appropriate), and orchestral excerpts for the assembled faculty of the OP program. The repertoire for first and second-year jury/orchestral auditions has been formulated by program faculty and is available on the student website. The jury repertoire lists have been created to assimilate standards for semifinal (first-year repertoire list) and final (second-year repertoire list) orchestra auditions. (Any special repertoire exceptions should be arranged in consultation with your major teacher.) Students will be allotted twenty minutes per audition, including concerto and excerpts.

Schedule: In consultation with the registrar’s office and program faculty schedules, final jury schedules are set by the OP office. The dates will be sent via email.

Audition Procedure: Please plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled time. Warm-up rooms will be available during jury times. Please prepare accordingly and be especially attentive to postings regarding date, room, and time assignments. Your jury will be adjudicated by OP faculty members. These final juries will be modeled as an orchestral audition. As in an orchestral audition, you may begin with your choice of solo work, and faculty members will call the excerpts. In addition, members of the audition jury may interrupt students to request interpretive modifications.

Audition Materials: If you are performing (with the permission of the faculty) works not on the OP jury repertoire list, please provide the adjudicators with copies of those excerpts, properly annotated, collated, and stapled together. Otherwise, a printed program following the format of your mock audition programs should be prepared for each adjudicator. Make sure that these materials are typed and organized. It will affect your overall presentation and results.

PROBATIONARY REVIEW: The final jury for first-year students will also serve as a probationary review audition. At the final jury, faculty members will determine not only scholarship recommendations for returning students, but also their continuation in the second year of the program. Please refer to the 2014–2015 Manhattan School of Music catalog for other stipulations regarding scholarships and academic performance.

Arts-in-Education Outreach Courses

The Musician as Educator course (OP 2251), taught by Rebecca Charnow, director of Community Partnerships, meets during the Fall semester on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Students in this course receive training on how to become effective artist-educators as part of the Manhattan School of Music Arts-in-Education Program.  Students will be exposed to a variety of pedagogical methods and materials as they prepare and deliver educational presentations in New York City schools.  Required for all first-year Orchestral Performance students; open to all orchestral graduate students or with permission of instructor. 

Arts & Education Training (PT 1050), taught by Rebecca Charnow, director of educational outreach, meets during the Spring semester on Thursday mornings from 10:00–11:50 am. This course provides training for students interested in becoming teaching artists or music teachers. Students enrolled in this course will have the opportunity to observe and evaluate a variety of pre–K-12 music education programs in New York City schools. All transportation is provided. This is an elective course open to undergraduate and graduate students of all majors

Performing Opportunities

A part of the core curriculum for Orchestral Performance majors is participation in Manhattan School of Music orchestras, playing under internationally acclaimed guest conductors.

Orchestras: Program students play in two orchestras: Manhattan School of Music Symphony or Philharmonia, based on placement audition, and Chamber Sinfonia, an orchestra designed for Orchestral Performance majors. Other performance opportunities are offered in Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, opera orchestra, and composers’ orchestra, as assigned.

Freelancing: Manhattan School of Music Orchestral Performance majors also receive many opportunities for freelancing in the New York City area. Recently, orchestral performance students have performed with the American Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic, as well as in nearby regional orchestras.

While program students are encouraged to take advantage of these unique opportunities whenever possible, they are cautioned to do so only without creating conflicts with Manhattan School of Music class schedules, orchestra rehearsal and concert schedules, and program functions and events. Please remember you are here to be a young professional and a student investing in your future by focusing on the refinement of critical skills necessary to win permanent orchestral jobs.

Academic and Orchestral Releases: When extraordinary performance opportunities arise, such as substituting in the New York Philharmonic, performing a concerto, or playing concertmaster in a regional orchestra, you must:

  • Contact the orchestra manager in the Performance Operations office immediately and abide by all the rules for a release from orchestra.

  • File a petition with David McDonagh (ext. 4418), registrar, to be excused from your classes, or for a leave of absence (see the 2014–2015 Manhattan School of Music catalog).

  • Communicate directly with the OP office regarding the parameters of your request for a leave.

New York Philharmonic Rehearsals

Access to Rehearsals: Orchestral Performance majors may also attend open rehearsals of the New York Philharmonic through a very special arrangement with the NY Phil education office. This is a unique opportunity for you to observe your teacher and/or other program faculty in rehearsal with one of the world’s finest orchestras. You will be sent an email about these open rehearsal tickets at the beginning of each semester.

Career Consulting Opportunities

The Office of Career Development and Center for Music Entrepreneurship (Angela Beeching, Director ) has valuable resources for creating résumés and cover letters, and researching job opportunities. A handbook of their services is available from their office in Room 121.

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